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NKY Health Department warns that some schools are dealing with whooping cough

NKY Health Department warns that some schools are dealing with whooping cough (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - There are new concerns about a highly contagious disease that is still spreading in area schools.

New cases of “whooping cough” are being reported in the Tri-State.

Whooping cough, or pertussis as it's often called, is an infection that impacts the airways. It is highly contagious or easily passed from person to person, with a cough or a sneeze.

It gets its name from a nasty cough that often has a whoop sound and can be deadly to very young children if it shuts down breathing.

Williamstown Independent Schools reported four known cases in the last week and on Monday, Grant County Schools reported 19 known active cases.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department has said that there have been 37 cases of whooping cough reported in Grant County since late March, and that’s compared to just five that were reported in Grant County in all of 2016.

There was also confirmation that, in Hamilton County, they are not seeing a rise in cases right now.

Since the majority of the cases, according to the health department, are tied to school aged kids, here's what's being recommended:

The T-DAP vaccine for those ages 10 and up is suggested. It's free through the Northern Kentucky Health Department.

If you call them at (859) 341-4264, they can direct you where to go to get one.

If you have been exposed to whooping cough or have symptoms, you do need treatment with antibiotics.

Anyone with close contact to those infected should also be treated. That may mean child care workers, grandparents and parents.

The goal is to stop the spread of the infection. Many people can fight it off, but little babies or those who have weak immune systems often don't.

That is why there is an effort to “cocoon,” or protect, those who might get sick.

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